tv Our World With Black Enterprise FOX May 1, 2011 5:30am-6:00am PDT
captions made possible by the u.s. department of education and central city productions, inc. this week, we go inside the white house for our all-access interview with one of the president's senior advisers. plus, where do african-americans stand in washington? that's what's going on in our world, starting now. as white house senior adviser and long time friend to
president obama, we went to washington, d.c. for this exclusive interview. thank you so much for spending some time with us. >> my pleasure. >> it's no secret, in the last year and a half, the obama administration has taken a few hits. >> it's been challenging. but these are challenging times, in which he is the president, that's true. >> absolutely. in the 2010 midterm elections, obviously democrats took a big hit. >> lashing i think were his words. >> shellacing. >> here's a family in our country who wasn't touched by the recession. worst recession certainly in our lifetime. so that's the circumstance in which the president walked into office. and he had to deal with the hand he was dealt and he took it on,
head-on, and he did everything within his power working with congress to try to bring the economy back from the brink of disaster and put our country on a better course. we are now on a better course. we've had 12 consecutive months of private sector job growth. but our unemployment rate is still much too high. the president just announced a couple of weeks ago he's going to have a new council on focusing on jobs and competitiveness. it's going to be chaired by ge. we want to create jobs right here in america. so we've come out of a terrible patch. it was very challenging, as you said. but he keeps focusing on what's important, and what's important is the american people. he tries to focus every day when he wakes up, what can we do to keep our country safe and make it stronger. >> while he's working aggressively to reduce unemployment, to create jobs and so forth, nothing has been targeted to african-american
voters, to the african-american community at large. >> i'll say a few things. first of all, if you look at the major domestic policy initiatives when the president took on when he came into office, they have a disproportionately place in america. ensuring that people can have checkups and not have to pay for them. some people avoid going in for routine exams that can help them avoid near-death diseases if they simply have those checkups. if you think about the recovery act that was designed, again, to provide a safety net, tax relief for 95% of working families, unemployment insurance, which was continued in the lame duck in the tax package. it had a payroll tax credit, it had a child tax credit. if you look at the kinds of initiatives that the president took on, they were designed to
bring our economy back from the brink. many of them did have a disproportionately positive impact in the african-american community. and then just this week, the president announced startup america. as a great initiative, a partnership with the private and public sector, designed to help support entrepreneurs so that they can start new businesses and grow. and there's a special fund set aside for those companies that want to set up, and low-income communities. that's something that is definitely targeted to the african-american community. i think what you could see from the kinds of programs that he's initiated is that he wants government to be able to be there for those who need it most. and so in many cases, that's people in the african-american community. his whole focus on public education. again, who rates to the top. and secretary duncan has put it in place. the best way to bring the black community out of poverty and help communities that have been neglected long before this last recession, let's face it, in
many communities around our country, black people have been suffering for a long time. >> this is not new for us. >> this is not new for us. what can we offer to bring ourselves out of poverty? education. we have got to get our young people excited about learning. i always say there's nothing wrong with our children. it's the adults who need some work. his emphasis on getting people to go into teaching again. that's a very, very important profession. and so i think if you look at our entire agenda, certainly it benefits the african-american community. >> i'm glad you mentioned the state of the union as well, because it marked a really interesting moment. two years in, he's taken some hits. and the president comes up fairly unscathed in terms of his confidence, he has a vision for america, and he articulates these five points around innovation, education, building, responsibility and reform. >> those are five points. thank you.
you did my job for me. >> i want to talk about this first idea of innovation a little bit more, though. it seems to be a way of speaking back to folk who say that he's not thinking of business, not thinking of wall street and the country's long-term future. how does innovation play into his defense from the people from the right attacking him? >> part of what makes america so extraordinary is our ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit and creativity. when everything from the light bulb to the internet, this is what we do here in america. we innovate, we create. what government has to do is make that easy for business. whether it's providing tax credits for research and development, or whether it's investing in clean energy, the president said it's the long-term sustainable growth, and help depends on the private sector. we spent money on the recovery act to help jump-start the economy. but it's the private sector that has to step up over the long term. it's our job to make it easier
to do. companies today can choose between investing here in the united states or investing anywhere in the world. we want them to choose here. and i think the president's message was really all about winning the future. and he's optimistic. because he believes in this country. he believes so strongly in american people. and part of what we do best in this country is innovate. >> well said. thank you so much for spending time with "our world with black enterprise." i think he's doing a great job now because he's compromising with republicans, and that's what it's going to take to help create a better black america.
with republicans taking control of the house, and the static economy crippling the nation, how will the president's agenda help the black community? joining me to discuss this the reverend al sharpton, former presidential candidate. angela mcgowan, fox news political analyst. and jeff. we are two years into the obama presidency. some people are saying he's doing a great job, some people are saying we're worse than we've ever been. what do you think? >> i think he's doing a great job now. because he's compromising with republicans, and that's what it's going to take to create a better black america. you have to compromise and work together. under nancy pelosi and harry reid, we did not see that.
>> but there's a misnomer to that, right? while there was not the kind of communication and interaction that could have gotten some things done, they got some pretty substantial legislation passed. >> their legislation passed. >> what did obama do for the people of color, and at the end of the day there was legislation passed that -- >> are we better off today? that's the question today. >> we're better off today than we were under bush. let's look at the fact that in the first two years, we got health care. we were able to bring the economy back from the brink. let's remember now, when george bush left, we didn't know if the country was going to economically rebound. let alone black america. and black colleges. there's a lot of things that have happened. would we like to see more? absolutely. but compare bush to obama in terms of blacks, is to me a nonstarter. >> bush put forth an effort to put more money up to small businesses. let me put it this way. he put more money into small
businesses. >> that's not true. >> give me -- bush. >> how can you say that the man that caused the crash in the banks and insurance companies, brought in more businesses. are you kidding? >> hold on one second. 2006, nancy pelosi and harry reid took over the house and the senate. so some of the policies that went through that you're talking about, the crash of the banks and the crash of the economy, that was the democrats. >> we just had a report that came out from a federal commission -- >> they didn't extend the bush tax cuts. >> let's talk about the compromise. >> yeah. >> is president obama compromising because he's had a change of heart and that he needs private business, or is this a political move he has to do to -- >> the political move to sustain his presidency. let's get back to the bush tax cuts. when you have congressman madler, and congressman israel, when you have certain democrats calling for the extension of the
bush tax cuts, to help the economy, then that is true compromise as well. it just wasn't obama to extend the bush tax cuts. which in his campaign promise when he was running for office, he said he would not. you even have progressives that -- >> the reality is -- >> you have democrats calling for obama to extend it. >> the democrats who could have had the vote on a lot of these policies in mid-summer of '10, didn't want to vote because they wanted to wait until after the midterm elections. we got past the midterm elections in november. 2 million people were about to lose their insurance in terms of their unemployment benefits, and their social security. and they had the president obama between a rock and a hard place. he either compromised with the republicans to save those 2 million people with social security and unemployment, or he's blamed for putting 2 million people out in the name of a whole law of the a
commitment -- >> who put obama between a rock and a hard place. >> some of the democrats did that. which is why some of the democrats had to stare up and kick the weight for what they did. they put him in that position. >> part of what this speaks to is the difference between running for president and actually being president. every president experiences there's a gap between governing and running. right now the government two years in -- >> the american dream has never been about standing pat. it has required each generation to sacrifice, and struggle, and meet the demands of a new age. and now it's our turn. we know what it takes to compete for the jobs and industries of our times. we need to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world. >> he launched a new platform where he's saying this is what i'm going to do during the remainder of my period. >> i think anytime you talk about winning the future, that's a good thing. the question is, how do we win
the future. so i think the president laid out a number of areas that he wanted to happen. the devil is always in the details. >> right. >> so the question is going to be, one, what does the budget look like. because the budget is going to determine, are we going to be successful or not. there's no navigating around that. that's going to be where the real fight is and where the rubber meets the road. >> hold your thoughts, because we're going to come back and talk more about the state of the union and what's going to happen in two more years. stay right there. we'll be back with more in a bit. >> and what real innovation is, getting out of the way where we say we're waiting on superman, the one person with the golden answer to fix every situation. it does not work.
find out how you can share, act, learn, give, and help stop diabetes. when a child walks into a classroom, it should be a place of high expectation and high performance. too many schools don't meet this test. that's why instead of just pouring money into a system that's not working, we launched a competition called race to the top.
all 50 states we said, if you show us the most innovative plans to improve teacher quality and student achievement, we'll show you the money. >> welcome back. i'm here with reverend al sharpton and jeff johnson. part of how we're going to do that is invest in education. what do you say? >> during the bush administration, you had the no child left behind. unfortunately children have been left behind. in the second district of mississippi, you have kids in the 9th grade that read on a 3rd grade level. you have girls pregnant in some schools. there is a problem there. the race to the top as the reverend said during the break, it seems to be working. but we need to cut the fat. >> one of the things, and as all of you, i've worked with president obama and even went on tour with newt gingrich on this. what race to the top does at
least makes the objective, saying that the kids are being improved. we can perfect it more. but we've got to get past all the special interests for the kids. when you look at the fact nationwide, black kids are four grades behind in reading and math, a city like detroit half of the black men are dropping out of school, it's not working yet. we really need an investment there, and we need to change the culture inside our own community. and i absolutely agree with president obama on that. >> i think to angela's point, it can't just be the government. there's got to be private sector, partnerships. i think what bill gates is doing as it relates to funding innovation is a push in the right direction. if local communities and states get to the point where they understand innovation is about multilevel partnerships, you take the pressure off the department of education, put us in positions where certain things that have been funded traditionally can be cut. at the end of the day, somebody's still got to pay the
money, make sure there's accountability. what real innovation is, is getting out of the way where we say we're waiting on superman, one person with the golden answer to come fix every situation. it does not work. >> clark kent doesn't even show up in our picture. >> you get kent clark. >> i'd have lois lane and clark both show up. >> one of the things that people talk about with president obama's administration is that they haven't been willing to name black folk. even when some of the policies have affected black folk, health care, housing and so forth, he hasn't explicitly a race-targeted agenda. who was the last president to do that? >> who was the first one? i mean, i think that we cannot ghetto-ize president obama. we have never put that on any president, including william
jefferson clinton. it's always been blacks, latinos, jewish, women. they brought the gender to the president. other blacks are like, why did he come out op the black agenda? it was on black unemployment. he shouldn't be any different than any other president. >> when local activists met with national leadership that brought a plan into johnson's office. >> that's correct. >> that ultimately came the voting rights acts and civil rights act. while there you nuances that have shifted, it's not going to be the president in red, black and green, walking through communities saying, milk and honey is going to flow because i showed up. >> he had to do it. it was his time. he had to go to the republicans to help him.
look, johnson was racist. let's just put it out there. i agree with both of these guys that obama has to remain mainstream. it can't be what's good for black america, latino america, it's what's good for america. >> i think the other piece, we can't overlook this, is the fact that much of the legislation that he's put forward, he hasn't had to put a black label on. it's affected poor people, black people, middle-class people. we can't skip over that. >> hold that thought real quick. when we come back we'll wrap up. stay right there. we'll be back with more of "our world with black enterprise. ". >> i think the republicans clearly cannot count on the american people to have amnesia on where they brought this country. rrator too many bills?
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welcome back. i have very little amount of time left, but if there's one thing the president should work on in the next two years, what should it be? >> starting with the jobs and economy, no option. that is what his presidency is going to live or die on. >> economy and jobs. >> jobs, jobs, jobs, education. >> that's what i'm talking about, bipartisan agreement. does the president get reelected in two years? >> i think the president gets reelected because i think he's been able to turn the corner in terms of where this country was headed, and i think the republicans clearly cannot count on the american people to have amnesia on where they brought this country. >> does he get reelected? >> if the economy's better and if there are more jobs created and less foreclosures, he has a great chance. >> and he has your vote. >> if the trajectory continues where it is right now, i think he'll be reelected. >> thank you all for a spirited, spirited panel. hope to have you all back again soon.